A doctor at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital has been suspended for refusing to attend to a patient citing lack of protective gear.
The medic had reportedly asked for an N-95 mask to attend to a patient with coronavirus-like symptoms.
However, the Hospital’s CEO Dr Enock Ondari said the doctor had been provided with a surgical mask, soap, water.
In a ‘show cause’ letter, the CEO said the doctor’s actions amounted to professional negligence and insubordination, which is tantamount to gross misconduct.
KTRH – the largest public health facility in South Nyanza – said it intends to institute a disciplinary process that may lead to the doctor’s dismissal from service.
“However, before this is done, you are hereby called upon to show cause why the intended action should not be taken.
“Your representations if any, should reach this office within a period of 72 hours from the date of this later, failure to which the contemplated action will be taken without further reference to you,” the letter reads in part.
Meanwhile, the medical fraternity has faulted the decision to suspend the doctor.
Dr Stella Bosire, who is also an activist, said: “When these people are not protected what are we doing? We are exposing them to the public: they have families they go to, they have a community!”
She added: “30% of infections are among health care workers and up to 10% of health care workers are dying. In this country, if it gets to that point, 30% of us will be doctors. That means that I am at 0.3 probability of getting sick.”
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) said the case of the Kisii doctor is a perfect example of Kenyan soldiers left exposed.
KPMDU Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda said the role of a hospital manager is to support health workers and “when they raise concerns about their working conditions and safety, then they need to be listened to”.
Kenya is yet to confirm any case of doctors or other health workers contracting the virus but reports indicate that close to 15 doctors are in quarantine.